Heist and Pleasure respectively: each a pretty sobering and steely prospect as are Quite Imposing Blokes. But ganging up together? AND on Playaz??
Best to don a flak vest, take cover behind the nearest heavy object and holler some questions about the new Freedom ep – not to mention a certain connection to US Dubstep – over at them via loudhailer, while dodging the bullets…
You two have history?
Pleasure: We’ve known each other for a while as I’ve had releases on Jim’s label a few years back. Both of our tastes and attitudes were quite similar so it just kind of fell in to place for me.
On the production front for the Freedom ep (preview at end), what departments would you meet in the middle with… beats? Bass? Would someone take over a certain aspect of production?
P: It varied on different tracks; I wouldn’t say either of us stuck to certain dept of production. One of us would start a project and then the other would come in on it.
Heist: Yeah, I mean one of us would make a starting arrangement and then use that as a point to kick off from basically. So if Nav made that start, it would tend to be his beats we’d use and vice versa. When it came to bass, I think it was a good mixture of both of us adding different parts till be got what we both wanted.
Fats is here too on ‘Guidance’: how did that come about? Such a strong, subtle tune.
H: Fats & me have been good friends for years. I’ve previously made tracks with him on liquid Ganja for Hype and it was actually Hype that suggested Fats sung on ‘Guidance’. I was really happy with how it came out and I think Fats was too.
‘Cob On’ is my fave I think: It’s understated, but so ugly.
H: ‘Cob On’ was made after a bit of a stupid accusation made against me by someone! I kinda used that and turned it into a positive by getting in the studio and writing the track using inspiration from what had been said to me. The sample before the track kicks in actually says ‘You are nothing to me’ ha ha! It’s not a complicated track by any means, but I was happy with how it just rolled out with simple beats and melody.
It’s all about turning negatives in positives wherever possible.
Also that certain ‘Squash’ sound on ‘Ace in the Hole’, I love the pure drive on this.
P: It’s actually a follow up to ‘Popcorn’, a track I released on my own label last year. I sent it over to Hype and he said he had to have it on the ep so that was that really. I just went in the studio one night and it was churned out.
Heist I have to ask you this as you were the first person I heard ever using certain filters… like the sort of ‘yoy’ effect that was later adopted by the US dubstep crew. I always felt that they owed you a huge debt in the formation of their sound!
H: Ha ha..that’s funny! The technique you’re referring to is called ‘bit crushing’. I was using it quite a lot in tracks like ‘Dusty Bin’, ’40 Hertz Skank’ (below) and some others. I did notice an abundance of dubstep and D&B tracks coming out with that effect in them and it did make me step away from it. Whether they found inspiration from me or not I don’t know, I find it’s best to try and take things that have emulated you as a compliment these days.
On the ‘global’ front what sort of experiences do you both have?
P: I played in Moscow last year, those guys know how to party and the city is amazing! The scene in Belgium is crazy at the moment too, thousands of kids out every weekend I fear it’s going to implode soon! But I have to say I enjoy playing in London the most, especially over the last eight months there: some great nights.
H: Two of my favorite places I’ve played aboard would have to be Tokyo, Japan and Johannesburg, South Africa. Both were amazing and I was truly honored to be able to go and perform there.
UK-wise the Low Down Deep soundclash at O2 London is up there with one of the best UK parties I’ve ever played.
Got any good, rugged road stories?
H: A scary one for me was I recently had to get to a gig in Buffalo. My flight was cancelled from New York with no more flights flying from that airport that day! I went through hell trying to reclaim my luggage, find another flight from another airport and get to said airport all in the time frame I had to make it to the gig. I got to the gig with about 10 minutes to spare.
On the topic of travel, where do you see D&B itself headed, especially regarding technology? You both so much experience under your belts so must have some perspective.
P: I think D&B is still growing stronger by the day, this year we’ve had two number ones which is such good look for our music. Technology will all ways evolve at a rapid rate. Best to just ride the wave…
H: I’ve always felt that D&B has a ‘future’ sound about it. Advances in technology are pretty much always going to make us change the way we do things, just look at turntables & Serato and now the advancement of USB keys over CDs. I think it’s best to embrace change, not fight it.
As to the question where D&B is headed, I really don’t have an answer for that. I hope it just keeps getting stronger world wide and continues to be the melting pot of sounds and styles that it’s become.
Lastly what’s a sentence from each of you to sum up this wicked, varied ep?
Pleasure: What a ride, can we do that again?
Heist: ‘We endeavored the pursuit of our Freedom’.